Links 11/17/17

In the Future, We’ll Love Our Robot Pets, But Will They Love Us Back? The Daily Beast (Re Silc). The first sentence: “Humans are obsessed with robots.” No.

Why the robot boost is yet to arrive FT

Blockchain moves beyond its ‘moonshot’ phase The American Banker

P&G Could Use the Blockchain in Its Next Proxy Fight Bloomberg

Bail Bloc The New Inquiry

Investors sue Monte dei Paschi over cancelled bonds FT

Comcast and Verizon enter fray with 21st Century Fox approaches FT

Billion-Dollar Landlords: Rental home giant once led by Trump ally is under fire from some tenants, critics ABC

Brexit

Brexit: ‘Don’t put politics above prosperity’, Davis urges EU BBC. Davis’ Berlin speech. It didn’t go well:

First question from a German journalist, on “prosperity”: “If that is what you want, why are you leaving?”

FACE-OFF WITH IRISH Theresa May to hold showdown talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over Irish border crisis The Sun

U.K. Signals Climbdown on Setting Brexit Date in Legal Stone Bloomberg

Germany’s coalition talks: What are the sticking points? Deutsche Welle

Syraqistan

Saudi crackdown will not hit investments: energy minister Falih Reuters. Oh. OK.

IDF Chief of Staff: Israel willing to share intelligence with Saudis – Arab-Israeli Conflict Jerusalem Post

Why Israel does not want a sovereign Palestinian state Middle East Eye

Zimbabwe latest: Mugabe ‘resisting calls to resign’ BBC

China?

China Energy Investment signs MOU for $83.7 billion in West Virginia projects Reuters

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’ Guardian

Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet Vice

Google and Facebook Give Net Neutrality Campaign a Boost Newsweek. To the extent that any public good controlled by two ginormous monopolies can be said to be neutral.

Trump Transition

FCC Plans December Vote to Kill Net Neutrality Rules Bloomberg

FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules in Contentious Vote Variety. Sinclair: “Thanks!”

FCC approves TV technology that gives better pictures but less privacy Reuters

Sorry, poor people: The FCC is coming after your broadband plans Ars Technica

* * *

House passes GOP tax bill, upping pressure on struggling Senate effort WaPo

Moderate Collins back in prominent role in Senate tax drama CNBC

The Republican Tax Bill and Cuts to Social Security CEPR. Chained CPI works its evil magic (and Democrats support it — Obama; Clinton Democrats — so it may slide through). So, we get the Grand Bargain one deal at a time.

Who’d Gain From an Estate Tax Rollback: The 0.2 Percenters NYT

* * *

Trump to let Americans import ivory and hunting trophies again New Scientist

The Implicit Threat in Julian Assange’s Ambassador Tweet emptywheel

Sex in Politics…Not!

Franken forces Dems to finally confront their own sexual assault scandals McClatchy

Democrats Missed A Chance To Draw A Line In The Sand On Sexual Misconduct FiveThirtyEight. The Al Franken case goes to the Senate Ethics Committee. I remember very well, after the (squandered) “wave” election in 2006, when new speaker Pelosi instantly buried the Mark Foley case — Foley to 15-year-old male former Senate page: “Get a ruler and measure it for me” — in the Ethics Committee (one might speculate to protect the Republican leadership, in light of what we now know of the Hastert case). In any case, “weaponized sanctimony” is the order of the day, on this day as indeed on all other days, as Democrats refuse to clean their own side of the street. Well played, all.

Moore targets female accusers as critics decry intimidation AP

With Roy Moore scandal, #MeToo movement upends Washington Payday Report

After Al Franken and Roy Moore, We Are Dangerously Close to Botching the #MeToo Moment Daily Beast

Gillibrand Says Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned Over Lewinsky Affair NYT. Some background.

Bill Clinton’s accusers deserved to be heard, Donna Brazile says during Miami visit Miami Herald

When Character No Longer Counts National Affairs

‘Inappropriate behavior’ with man in his office led to Ohio lawmaker’s ouster Columbus Dispatch. I wonder if anybody’s keeping a spreadsheet on these episodes….

Is there a culture of denial around sexual misconduct in academia? Times Higher Education

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change The Atlantic

Testing Progressives, Centrist Dems Team Up with GOP to Deregulate Banks The American Prospect. But unity!

I can’t wait for Democrats to nominate some pot-smoking communists to the federal bench The Week

Detroit Cops Fight Each Other In ‘Very Embarrassing’ Undercover Mix-Up Newsweek. “… two officers posing as drug dealers were ‘caught’ by their undercover colleagues last Thursday in an incident that resulted in guns being pulled, punches thrown…”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The revised TPP is still a big deal Nikkei Asian Review

The Uncounted NYT. Jiggering the numbers for civilian casualties from air strikes.

Guillotine Watch

Notes on $450,312,500 Felix Salmon

Class Warfare

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: October 2017 Update Advisor Perspectives (CM).

Left behind: can anyone save the towns the economy forgot? FT. UK equivalent of Case-Deaton.

Researchers Measure Inequality Caused by Agriculture in Ancient World Lab Equipment (ME). Seems odd that this is in a magazine callled Lab Equipment, until you think about the inequalities in academia today. I’ve been reading James C. Scott’s Against the Grain, which bears on the same topic (Original in Nature.)

Jet Pilot Might Not Seem Like a ‘Gig,’ but at Ryanair, It Is NYT

Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On The New Yorker

Special Report: Lead poisoning lurks in scores of New York areas Reuters

World’s 3 Most Successful Public Housing Projects Arch20. The last, Quinta Monroy, is very interesting.

Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory NYT. Zuck: “Lol yes it is.”

Imagining a Politics of Love: Hannah Arendt, Billy Budd, Meridian and the Civil Rights Movement Society for U.S. Intellectual History

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

159 comments

  1. el_tel

    re: sexual misconduct in academia

    Shocking, but sadly not unexpected. I’d add to the mix the culture of bullying. In the wake (IIRC) of sexual misconduct/bullying incidents in higher education, Australian higher education changed to operate a sort of “two strikes and you’re out” policy – the system (in theory) is now much more properly weighted towards the junior person and the senior person must do a lot more than previously to show their innocence (in terms of “more than just saying, I’m a professor, of course I didn’t do that” and it being sufficient). Sadly it’s only partially effective and whistle-blowers must still, unfortunately, consider the huge implications for things like their mental health before they fight for what’s right. The policy may be an improvement on the old ways but it certainly doesn’t make whistle blowing something you do lightly – senior people often have powerful friends in a university and whilst certain benefits of the senior person enjoy may be curtailed, it’s far from the case that they get “their full just desserts”.

    Reply
    1. Class over identity

      hey have a look at the class aspect of metoo. swedishmedia published an article about some 25% of women working in healthcare and restaurants reporting being harrassed.
      they were swiftly forgotten in favour of lawyers, artists, actresses, journalists etc.

      feminism in practice: always been about promoting women from upper classes to manager positions, not about making working class conditions bearable.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Add to it this link from above:

        Researchers Measure Inequality Caused by Agriculture in Ancient World Lab Equipment (ME). Seems odd that this is in a magazine callled Lab Equipment, until you think about the inequalities in academia today. I’ve been reading James C. Scott’s Against the Grain, which bears on the same topic (Original in Nature.)

        Why would parents or anyone want to see more students going to college to learn, to be enlightened (as Graeber is quoted below about what an innocent kid is supposed to make of what is happening on campus)?

        Reply
    2. Class over identity

      Don’t forget to pay attention to the class aspect of the sexual harrassment movement. Swedish media published an article about some 25% of women working in restaurants and healthcare reporting being harrassed. Quickly forgotten in favour of continuous articles about harrassments in the creative classes: lawyers, actresses, journalists etc.

      Feminism as usual: all about promoting the interests of women of the upper classes, never about improving working conditions for working class women or men for that matter.

      Reply
      1. el_tel

        Thanks for sharing. Yes my experience scarred me and took a long time for me to heal.
        I’m now having to follow a much more (economically) risky strategy in my career that may yet fail and force me “down the snakes and ladders board back to square one” – I’ve learnt that life deals you curveballs and you have to live with them. Very frustrating but that’s life under the “new system” universities work under (neoliberalism-based) and I just have to deal with it. But dealing with curveballs in your mid 40s is undoubtedly more difficult than in your 20s (last time I got a curveball).

        Reply
        1. perpetualPOOR

          Try having the rug pulled out from under you in your mid-fifties! We are all in this together, but we forget that.

          I wish you well in your climb back up. I can relate. I have begun the long climb back after getting the [family blog] knocked outta me by the 2008 banking crimes. I am now back at square one when I should be thinking retirement. Oh, the joys of neoliberalism!!!

          Reply
      2. RUKidding

        Bullying also occurs a lot in many workplaces. In some instances where you have a gender-dominated workplace, such as Nursing, which is typically mostly female, then you have bullying going on instead of sexual harassament/assault.

        Seems to me, it’s usually one or the other.

        I had friend who worked in a Library where most of the workers were female. One sub-group banded together to bully and harass (but not sexually) one worker that they decided that they “didn’t like.” All of the staff witnessed it, but none were willing to speak out because they were afraid of being the next target. I know this because years later some of her former colleagues approached my friend to apologize for not backing her up. It was a very messy and ugly situation. Management didn’t know what to do about it, so forced out the “victim” and never really dealt with the bullies, who continued (to this day, I believe) being toxic bullies.

        Our society simply doesn’t have a clue about how to deal with bullying and harassment most of the time.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          In my case, the bully was a *faculty* librarian. She liked to put the emphasis on that f-word to emphasize the power that she held over me and other members of her staff.

          As for the Pitt library, I had interactions with other parts of it. From what I gathered, my bully boss was notorious throughout the library system.

          Reply
          1. RUKidding

            That’s unfortunate, but I’m aware of far too many instances of this type of bullying happening in just about any workplace you can imagine.

            In one place, where I worked, the boss was a bully, himself, but he liked to have “teacher’s pets” – for lack of a better term – who he used as proxy bullies. In other words, he’d encourage his favorites (who got “extas” or better treatment) to bully the rest of the staff. In this case, boss was utterly incompetent and eventually got fired (from his third job), but not after doing a huge amount of damage. But he sort of protected himself by getting other staff to do the bullying for him.

            Where he got hoist on his own petard was that he sexually harassed one younger female on the staff. However, it took two different grievance claims before he finally got the chop.

            Was a nightmare working there. Even after the boss got fired, I still looked for and got another job. The whole place was a toxic waste dump due to the boss’ egregious bullying and sexually harassing behavior, while also constantly pitting staff against each other. UGH.

            Reply
        2. Henry Moon Pie

          .David Graeber had some interesting things to say about bullying not long ago: “The Bully’s Pulpit.”

          It’s also possible that audiences of grade schoolers react passively to bullying because they have caught on to how adult authority operates and mistakenly assume the same logic applies to interactions with their peers. If it is, say, a police officer who is pushing around some hapless adult, then yes, it is absolutely true that intervening is likely to land you in serious trouble—quite possibly, at the wrong end of a club. And we all know what happens to “whistleblowers.” (Remember Secretary of State John Kerry calling on Edward Snowden to “man up” and submit himself to a lifetime of sadistic bullying at the hands of the U.S. criminal justice system? What is an innocent child supposed to make of this?) The fates of the Mannings or Snowdens of the world are high-profile advertisements for a cardinal principle of American culture: while abusing authority may be bad, openly pointing out that someone is abusing authority is much worse—and merits the severest punishment.

          He recently tied this to the widespread allegations of sexual misconduct that was published by The Guardian and was linked at NC.

          Reply
          1. RUKidding

            Good points. And aren’t kids – or at least boys (but often girls, too) – basically encouraged to fight and bully back, rather than report the bullying and seek other peaceful means to resolve the situation? The idea being that you have to learn to defend yourself and/or take offensive action, rather than rely on authority, ie the teacher, to handle the situation more appropriately.

            I seem to recall often reading how kids who were routinely bullied almost never got the support or help or intervention they needed at school – either from teachers or the administration, not even if their parents came in to complain. Some of these kids end up killing themselves because they cannot take it, especially if they achieve a school pariah status and are continuously bullied by the same group all throughout their years in that school. In other cases, the parents found another school for their kid to attend.

            Other famous whistleblowers include Jeffry Wigand, who took on Big Tobacco for lying about harmful effects of cigarette smoking. I believe that Wigand really suffered from his actions, which benefited all of us. It’s not easy at all to be a whistleblower. Karen Silkwood paid the ultimate price.

            Reply
            1. jrs

              kids are encouraged to fight back, but I’m not sure that’s always an action that works in adult life, but sometimes it’s so hard to tell, some people will back down if assertively confronted, but many a bully won’t (so much for “assertiveness”).

              If a workplace bully has power over you the best action is sometimes just to submit as meekly as possible and kiss as much a as possible, and meanwhile look for another job, and hope to heck you get it quickly.

              People are regularly going to workplaces where they are bullied, another reason work is an utter nightmare for many, a nightmare without words to explain the horror to the clueless who have not experienced such workplaces.

              Reply
    3. diptherio

      My girlfriend did a PhD in chemistry and had to deal with sexual harassment throughout her time in post-grad academia. Reporting the behavior to the Dept office didn’t help. Reporting the behavior to her adviser didn’t help. Having a whole bunch of her colleagues (women and men) witness the harassment didn’t help…nobody wanted to get involved.

      From her experience I have concluded this: academia is incredibly sick, and nearly everybody is infected — men and women. Sexual harassment is common-place and allowed to fester and everyone is too afraid to speak up. Everyone’s looking out for their own career and don’t want to jeopardize it by getting involved in “someone else’s business.” Men and women in positions with the power to make this stuff stop, and who knew what was going on, did nada, zilch, zippo. Bunch of cowards, as far as I’m concerned. >:-(

      Reply
      1. el_tel

        Bunch of cowards, as far as I’m concerned

        Indeed, my experience to a tee. “Thanks for doing the dirty work, we’ll reap the benefits, but we’re not supporting you”. Everybody out for themselves, now that the system actively promotes narcissism and doing whatever is necessary to get to the top (or even merely to get funding).

        Reply
        1. jrs

          probably just an inevitable outcome of the jobs being so competitive. For a run of the mill office job, noone wants to get fired and will do much to avoid it, but they know deep down that the odds are good they’ll get another similar job eventually if they do, as the jobs are nothing special. A competitive field like Academia though …

          Reply
      2. Sid Finster

        As far as I can tell, “leadership”, in business, in media, and in politics in particular, but not only, largely consists of people whose behavior is indistinguishable from that of high-functioning sociopaths. Such people naturally wind up in leadership positions, that is, positions of power, because they intensely crave power and will do whatever it takes to get it.

        What I want to know is whether or to what extent sociopathy is learned, versus innate. Can you take a random individual, put him or here in the right environment, say, the family of a Duke in Renaissance Italy, and train that person to become a sociopath?

        That explains a lot of the behavior of royal families, back when the term really meant something.

        Reply
        1. el_tel

          I don’t know the answer to your question. But the sociopath issue is correct – the main personality disorder questionnaire used in the UK has two narcissist dimensions, broadly termed “internal” and “external”. A lot of teachers/academics score higher than the general population on internal narcissism – the belief that “my stuff is better than others and I deserve respect for it”. Being high on that is not a source of worry to mental health professionals. It’s when the patient *also* scores high on external narcissism that you have a potential sociopath. External narcissism is characterised by (putting it colloquially) a “don’t give a stuff about other people and will walk over anyone else to get my way” attitude. So you can understand why people in positions of power may score high on both and be “potential sociopathic material”.

          Many personality disorders are rooted in childhood upbringing (sorry to sound all armchair Freudian but psychiatrists have told me this is often their experience). However, *many* does not equal all, and the two disorders in question might indeed be “learned” – thus why I can’t answer your question but am equally curious.

          Reply
        2. WobblyTelomeres

          I used to use your phrase, “people whose behavior is indistinguishable from that of … sociopaths”, until I realized that I was just being wishy-washy in a manner similar to that of agnostics (vs atheists) as described by Christopher Hitchens.

          So, now I just call them sociopaths. They look like one, they walk like one, they sound like one. Quack.

          Reply
        3. Kurt Sperry

          I wonder if sociopathy is to some degree hard wired into the species because, like a propensity to put and keep weight on, in certain situations reliably having a minority with that trait could provide a valuable evolutionary survival advantage?

          Reply
      3. perpetualPOOR

        What you describe is happening in every industry…..government, private and academia.

        The ME generation. I will only think about ME and no one else……which leads to fear, intimidation and above all else silence. Silence to the things that really matter: human decency, empathy and the support of our fellow man/woman.

        Reply
      4. Lee

        Sometimes, informal, anonymous if necessary, extrajudicial warning-off can be useful. Of course, individuals with the sand to take such action might be a bit thin on the ground in certain social groups. If you know what I mean…

        Reply
  2. Darius

    Waxman Markey was a typical Democrat/Obama fiasco, along with Obamacare. They could have passed Medicare for All, a carbon tax and a jobs program in a budget reconciliation bill. They had more than enough votes. “But that’s not bipartisan.” Instead they coughed up a complex emissions trading scheme run by liberal gate-keepers.

    The fact the Democrats didn’t have a reconciliation bill ready to go cured me of my lifelong allegiance to the Democratic Party. It became plain as day they were a wheelbarrow full of garbage. The Grand Bargain and the TPP just added to the stench.

    Reconciliation is the Republicans’ go-to. It’s how they got the Bush tax cuts and the prescription drug ripoff. Democrats act like they never heard of it because they don’t have an agenda. At least not one they can discuss in public.

    Reply
      1. Eureka Springs

        +100 adding: Instead of prosecuting war crimes and massive theft Waxman and Co. went after major league baseball while Pelosi took everything important to the 90 plus percent off the table. It wasn’t long before he left the House entirely. I semi-wonder where he’s cashing in now?

        Reply
    1. John k

      They’re DINO’s… dems in name only.
      In fact they respond only to donors, explaining why their real objectives align with those of the reps… they share, and compete for, the same donors.
      ‘I can do more for you than that jerk!’ ‘No, I can, I can get your tax break passed!’
      Etc.

      Reply
      1. Kurt Sperry

        The problem with the DINO locution is that it describes most of the DP. Maybe the rare progressive Ds are the real DINOs.

        Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    Re In the Future, We’ll Love Our Robot Pets, But Will They Love Us Back?
    I suspect that these robo-pets will also suffer from the same “uncanny valley” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley) effect that we experience towards robot people. That is where something looks almost human but there are enough differences so you start to get seriously creeped out. Your robo-pet may look cute and cuddly but there will come a time when you will look at it and say to yourself WTF? In an instant it will seem utterly alien to us and we will get our back fur up.
    It may be that these robo-pets and robo-people will one day be programmed to act virtually similar to the real thing but I am willing to wager that then we will experience what I have named the “Replicant effect” (patent pending). Named after the fictional bioengineered or biorobotic androids in the 1982 film Blade Runner, my own pet theory is that when we reach the point that these robo-pets and robo-people are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, that we will have something come out of our subconscious that will utterly rebel at these things and will seek to destroy them if we can. No, I am not saying that we will have blade-runners but there will be a hostility to these things that has not yet surfaced.
    Having said that, I can see where humans will form friendships with robots that appear like robots. In Afghanistan even now, the troops there actually form emotional bonds with the robots that detect bombs that would normally kill these soldiers. In fact, soldiers have risked their lives to retrieve damaged robots in much the same way that they would risk their lives for an injured buddy. You even see this depicted in the “Star Wars” series where friendships exist between humans and robots but not lookalikes. Those they had in the “Aliens” film franchise and that did not end well.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There was a chart about this in fiction. R2D2 and Data are the most popular robots in fiction and well regarded. Robots that were definitely robots were more popular overall than humanesque robots by large margins with Data being the lone exception. The explanation was Data desired to be more human but didnt pretend to be despite only having a bit of makeup and contacts on. Most of the other robots with human appearances would often try to fit in. C3PO is significantly less liked than other R2 style robots despite Star Wars popularity.

      As the robots approached human form from R2, they became less liked.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I don’t like robot customer service reps, though I have no idea what form they take…probably like R2D2.

        My first reaction, over the phone, is, “I am not going anywhere with this guy (or gal). She is not going to understand anything I say.”

        Reply
        1. Lee

          I got a roborep yesterday that kept mishearing my health plan ID number. After getting me good and irritated, I finally got transferred to a real ESL human based, I believe, somewhere across the pacific ocean, who was obsequiously apologetic, but who could not account for the huge discrepancies in pricing and coverage I was seeing on my health plan website.

          It is one thing when crapification means you can’t find a can opener worth a damn but when it puts serious sums of money and your health on the line, that’s another matter entirely.

          Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is R2D2 more subservient than C3PO?

        The latter seems to talk too much, sometimes, if I recall correctly, even whine about its human masters.

        Is it because we hate to see our tyranny over robots challenged? R2D2 is always quiet, and does its job quietly (more or less).

        Reply
    2. hemeantwell

      The uncanny valley idea, I think, banks too much on something like a fixed hindbrain-based notion of what can pass for human, and misses the fact that people in need are willing to satisfice.

      I’m not familiar with the lit, or even if there is one, but an answer to this question should reference the way that people respond to the experience of video games in which their main character forms relationships with programmed characters, and those relationships develop in ways that are determined by choices the player makes. It’s obvious that the emotional attachment potential of those relationships is heavily determined by a range of variables, from the good old social anomie that’s part of a market society, intensified under neoliberalism, to there having been a kind of de-alienation process going on in human-simulacra relationships for decades. My own experience is that they can be surprisingly involving, at least during play, and it’s not hard to imagine that more involved gamers begin to develop, voluntarily and involuntarily, a compensatory relationship that seeps into background fantasies relevant to their sense of
      their social surround.

      It might be useful to think of the question as being akin to what someone observed about advertising: it’s one thing to assess its power in the form of a single ad that can be ignored, it’s something else when you consider it as a broad, culture-shaping force. Over time you are drawn into its field as a way of orienting yourself to a variety of options, both narrowly economic and broadly defining of yourself and society. The uncanny valley notion, in this sense, pins its hopes on retention of a bedrock prioritization of human relationships that I don’t think will hold.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I can see where the state of the art is at present at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClUFJlGBuME and I do not think that we are far from the time that we will have a Hollywood actor that is fully digital i.e. not a real person but actually a program. On screen you will not be able to tell the difference from the digital actor and a real actor and they can be either male or female.
        I see no reason why they will not be as popular from real actors and they will have their own fans. They could have a presence simultaneously in different countries using different languages and will be able to interact with their fans in a much more personal way than at present.
        The studios will love it as no more contract fights, drugs, bad behavior and the like. They can even be sub-contracted to appear in training videos, YouTube clips, special appearances, TV shows – literally anywhere. Perhaps they can even be the representation of the program that controls your house. Interesting times ahead.

        Reply
    3. ewmayer

      The fine UK SciFi series (aired in the US on the AMC cable network) Humans has some very interesting things to say on this theme.

      Reply
  4. ambrit

    What should be no surprise about this most recent “sexual misconduct” contretemps is the fact that most sexual aggression is at root about power. What else is politics about if not the same thing, power? To find so called “alpha” individuals in positions of political power abusing that power to satisfy murky sexual yearnings should be a ‘hind brainer.’
    The last section of the piece about Al Frankens case sends up red flags to this conspirationally challenged geezer. Suddenly, the case against Trump is re-importuned. It may not have begun as a plot to unseat the legitimate President of the United States, but this present wave of ‘virtue’ signalling looks like it is being ‘weaponized’ for that purpose. An otherwise legitimate reform movement gets hijacked by political terrorists.
    *sigh* “Arrest the usual suspects.”

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      ambrit
      November 17, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Franken forces Dems to finally confront their own sexual assault scandals McClatchy

      Radio host accepts Senator Franken’s apology, recounts moment of sexual assault
      Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio anchor, who accuses Democratic Senator Al Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour says she accepts his apology but that he could have apologized earlier.
      …..
      But some Republicans warn that the allegations against Franken don’t change the subject away from the GOP’s own problems with sexual harassment. Instead, as more allegations come out against politicians on both sides of the aisle, accusations that plagued Trump as a candidate are taking on renewed significance.

      “With all of the Republicans pounding on Al Franken to resign because of this story, it really does open up the question of, well, then, what about Donald Trump?” said Charlie Sykes, a veteran conservative commentator and former Wisconsin talk radio show host. “If we believe all of the other women in all of the other cases, why do we not believe the women that accused him?”
      ==============================================================
      So….Franken, despite the acceptance of the apology, resigns out of shame? The ethics investigation, actually results in REAL consequences (expulsion)?
      Trump admits his past abuses, and begs the victims for forgiveness, saying “we have to look to the future, not the past?” I can’t imagine Trump admitting error or asking for forgiveness except in the most transparently perfunctory manor, but imagine the dynamic if Trump did that – why can’t Trump be forgiven, if Bill Clinton was? Are “trailer” women of less value than Hollywood starlets?
      I read an interesting idea in some right wing source – the author pointed out the sexual harassment (and worse) that happens all the time to strippers, Hooters’s waitresses, truck stop waitresses, receptionists at carpet showrooms, etcetera – but only sexual harassment of “famous” people earns time on TV.

      Reply
    2. DJG

      ambrit: Yes, I have been contemplating ironies. Years ago, the Democrats attempted to weaponize Anita Hill, and we ended up with Clarence Thomas and Sammy Alito (who is even more reprehensible than Thomas, in my opinion).

      The Democrats thought that the pussy-grabbing tape was going to destroy Trump. Instead, it has had the circular effect of politicizing sexual harassment (and, curiously, de-criminalizing rape, which is what Weinstein’s behavior is all about). And then Bill Clinton’s name came up. None of the masterminds in the Democratic campaigns could figure out what would happen?

      And now we have reached the level of finger-pointing. Who knows what Franken’s case means?

      What I suspect is that we will see the status quo ante. Change isn’t going to happen.

      Reply
      1. epynonymous

        Well, there’s also the old story about that donor who Joe Biden groped in front of a Christmas tree circling about. I can’t find the original story, because the last 4 days have been flooded by the meme “Creepy Joe Biden” on Breitbart, InfoWars and friends.

        Lots of photoshopped pics going around of his hands moved from her waist to her chest.

        Then again, there’s alot of hands-y photos of him for opponents to work with…

        Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        For a time. Without structural economic changes it wont. The backlog of victims given some of the news about congress means there will be people willing to voice their story and at least metaphorically castrate certain people (Franken. Tweeden is beyond being blacklisted by important SNL alums).

        The problem of reporting involves major reprecussions from slut shaming to being sued.

        Reply
    3. Jim Haygood

      Yesterday the Congressional Office of Compliance (an odd double entendre, no?) released data on sexual harassment settlements, which have averaged about a dozen a year:

      https://twitter.com/PoliticsReid/status/931278604897542145

      Compared to the Caligulan days of the Congressional page [as in minors] sex scandal, or ol’ Wilbur Mills’ exuberant 2 a.m. romp in the Tidal Basin with Argentine stripper Fannie Fox, these stats remind one of the studio chatter on Tom Petty’s song “Even the Losers”: It’s just the normal noises in here!

      Reply
    4. diptherio

      I think the elephant in the room is that our national-level politicians are literally selected for their penchants for sexual perversity. I believe it’s in this episode of Sibel Edmonds’ podcast that NSA whistleblower Russ Tice discusses how he was routinely directed to try to find dirt on up-and-coming politicians. Inevitably, the ones they couldn’t find any dirt on never rose above county office…the real dirtbags, though, just as inevitably ended up in Washington.

      …not that I’m foily or nothin’…

      Reply
      1. Enquiring Mind

        Dirt-laden politicians, executives, any person, can be so much more pliable. When someone won’t do what you want, help them revise their thinking with those 8×10 glossies, that tape, the retrieved file or some combination thereof. Variations on that theme have worked since time immemorial, helping nudge unwilling characters into support of any number of causes. That support may appear to arise after some quick reversal of position that would otherwise be surprising to the average person.

        Say, nice career ya got there. Shame if somebody were to learn of the X (fill in vice here) in your past. Now just go along to get along and we’ll keep those little envelopes coming and that big envelope hidden.

        Reply
        1. Eureka Springs

          In a much more authentic democratic process we wouldn’t be placing people/representatives in a top-down leadership position whilst expecting different results. If just one party had a binding set of rules and platform in which appointed/elected ones were bound to pursue it could be evolutionary.

          Reply
      2. Ur-Blintz

        I was chatting with an agent for classical musicians, who had apprenticed under Ron Wilford (the top man for decades at Columbia Artists Management Inc, now deceased) that when she asked him how he kept control over his roster of famous orchestra conductors he replied “I have something in the vault on each of them.”

        Having been sexually harassed for three years during my apprenticeship at the Metropolitan Opera by its now retired artistic director, James Levine (one of Wilford’s “stars”) I had no reason to disbelieve the story. I had been one of “Jimmy’s” favorites up until the time when I finally reported his misconduct and went from doing important secondary roles on that stage, as well as solo recitals with the man at the Ravinia Festival to being offered off-stage chorus parts and insignificant covers after my (under paid) apprenticeship was finished. I refused that contract and never sang at the MET again.

        The classical music world is a sewer…

        Reply
  5. Hana M

    From the Miami Herald’s interview with Donna Brazile:

    The Clinton campaign may have been more fiscally responsible than Wasserman Schultz’s DNC, Brazile said, but it was even more out of touch. She began to realize something was seriously wrong on a trip to Florida, when local party leaders — particularly the black and Hispanic ones — told her they weren’t even being supplied with campaign literature to distribute to voters.

    “The campaign was at 37,000 feet, and they needed to get on the ground,” Brazile said. “It was a top-down campaign and they needed a ground-up campaign.”

    One of the oddities of the 2016 election was how few signs and bumper stickers I saw in Boston and the suburbs that voted heavily for Clinton. I counted two Clinton signs and one bumper sticker and one button over the course of the entire election cycle. There were far more leftover Obama bumper stickers. There was such a grim coldness to the campaign. I’m just about finished Brazile’s book and she’s strongest on the DNC mismanagement under Obama/Wasserman Schultz era and on the idiotic top-down campaign that Clinton and Mook ran. I was amazed, but not really surprised, at how the Clinton Brooklyn office essentially starved the DNC. At one point Brazile, deprived of funds from Brooklyn, rallies her staff to do some GOTV fundraising on their own, only to have the money raised confiscated and transferred to the Cllinton’s Brooklyn headquarters. It’s quite a story. Has anyone else read it yet?

    Reply
    1. Montanamaven

      My take is that Brazille is trying to, yet again, blame the loss of Clinton’s on something other than her flawed character and neo liberal policies. In this instance it’s the GOTV. They didn’t have the money to get out the vote. The Clinton campaign was using the cash for pollsters and TV ads and consultants. True. But what I observed in upstate NY was that right wingers had the energy and passion to hand paint Trump signs on their sheds and trailers. And some people I talked to did not want to put signs up at all whether it was Clinton or Trump.
      I don’t want to read her book unless as an exercise to spot the misinformation in it. I look forward to Lambert doing that for me. And I look forward to a book about all the political operatives aka “Hacks” who are still piling on the b.s.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Also Brazile pushed for resources to be invested in running up the score in Chicago and New Orleans
        to insure a popular vote achievement.

        Reply
    2. Goyo Marquez

      Why no GOTV?

      The first thing that comes to mind are kickbacks to the people hiring the pollsters, consultants, advertisers, I assume GOTV efforts don’t provide as good an opportunity for making a little on the side.

      Reply
      1. John k

        The kickbacks bring and maintain power. That’s what the foundation was all about, too, bringing in big cash for state favors and distributing said cash to the loyalists in media and politics… her coronation was bought and paid for in advance, witness the media and the supers all lined up like dominoes. The election billion was spent exactly the same way, once the reps picked the can’t win buffoon, there was no need to spend any time or effort on dem states, the voters had nowhere else to go…
        go for a mandate, bring in some AZ centrist reps that won’t be able to stomach their nominee.
        But then something funny happened to the most qualified candidate ever, vet of multiple pres campaigns…

        Reply
      2. hidflect

        Hillary took charge of the DNC under some agreement and proceeded to plunder the coffers. She believed her coronation was inevitable and so the campaign money was just a bonus.

        Reply
    3. Jason Boxman

      I noticed this too, in Orlando. I rarely if ever saw Clinton signs. I also saw this traveling in spring 2016 up the east coast. Spying a Clinton sign or bumper sticker was a real event! I saw more Bernie signs and stickers.

      Reply
    4. Oregoncharles

      No campaign literature? So what DID they do with all the money?

      Does anyone else smell a really big money scandal hidden in this? As in, massive embezzlement from the campaign – probably by Hillary herself? Or maybe just massive payoffs to her cronies and admirers, the “walking-around money” Lambert refers to. If I’d been a major donor, I’d be sniffing around. Prime season for P.I.’s.

      Reply
  6. Jim Haygood

    An oddity of the ruling-circle turmoil in Saudi Arabia is that its Tadawul stock index sails serenely along as if were pegged or something. Its US-traded vehicle is an ETF with symbol KSA.

    Russia (ETF symbol RSX) has not been as stable, dropping 3.3% since last Thursday’s close. Iran (which has no ETF owing to US sanctions) trundles along near record highs, but steady devaluation of its high-inflation currency holds it US-dollar value nearly flat.

    All told, our RuSI (Russia Saudi Iran) index lost 1.17% for the week, versus a 0.15% gain in SPY, an S&P 500 index ETF. Since the end of 2015, RuSi has gained 30.0% versus a 31.4% gain for SPY. Chart:

    http://ibb.co/gbr5Sm

    Reply
  7. Lunker Walleye

    Re Marcy Wheeler story. I used to be such a fan of hers. Check out this new story by Caitlin Johnstone at Medium.com. Tried to link to it but I get the dreaded spinning beachball when using the link button, so here is the title, “Everyone should do what Wikileaks did”.

    Reply
    1. Bittercup

      Marcy kind of broke my heart by leaning into the Russia nonsense hard, in a way that seems (seemed) really out of character for her. She’s still better than so many others (e.g., her writings on the Steele dossier), but her eye for detail is now deployed very selectively. 2017 continues to be so clarifying, it almost makes one wish for cataracts.

      Reply
  8. PlutoniumKun

    FACE-OFF WITH IRISH Theresa May to hold showdown talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over Irish border crisis The Sun

    Its reported in Ireland that talks have not gone well at all. Its been reported that the Irish PM Varadkar has insisted that Ireland will veto any deal unless there are firm written guarantees on an open border with NI. It seems pretty clear that the Irish government has lost patience with London making meaningless assurances without addressing the core issues.

    What I don’t know is what the Irish government sees as the end game. I assume they know that an open border is an impossibility with the potential deals on the table. I don’t know if their negotiating strategy (assuming they have one) is to try to force the UK and EU to agree to a long transitional deal, or if they are trying to raise the possibility of NI staying within the EU (I doubt its the latter, but its possible).

    It should be said that both Varadkar and Coveney (the Irish Foreign Minister) are quiet skilled politicians and not stupid (Coveney has a reputation for being good at keeping on top of his brief), but neither are known for a grasp of the subtleties of Northern Irish politics – they both clearly would love not to have anything to do with it. They would most probably much prefer a deal with London/Brussels over the head of Northern Irish politicians, but that may not be possible.

    Reply
    1. el_tel

      Thank you. What I fail to understand is how vetoing a deal would help Ireland (as you imply)? No deal (if I understand correctly) means Ireland would have to bear the brunt of constructing a hard border – is that right? If so, it smacks of the idiocy on the UK side and the “do what I say or I’ll blow my own brains out” strategy the UK seems to be following. Have I missed something?

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        I honestly don’t know the strategy behind it. On the face of it, the Irish government is asking for the impossible. To a certain extent, I think there is a certain amount of ‘signalling’ going on here. The Irish government is determined to be central to the negotiations for obvious reasons (that the EU added the Irish border to the initial list of issues to be addressed was seen as a diplomatic triumph), but I’m not altogether sure what they hope to achieve with it.

        The situation is very complicated by domestic politics. Current opinion polls indicate that the next election could result in a government with Sinn Fein having the balance of power. SF would certainly insist as a price of power the NI assembly being placed front and centre of Brexit negotiations/fallout. The Irish government (Fine Gael) is relentlessly anti Sinn Fein and will never deal with them directly if they can possibly avoid it, and the feeling is largely mutual. As a result the Irish government has been very negligent in its unofficial role as a silent partner to nationalists in Northern Ireland. Since the more ‘moderate’ nationalist parties have been wiped out electorally, the Irish government can either deal with Sinn Fein, or just pretend NI doesn’t exist. Its trying desperately to do the latter, but Brexit makes that impossible.

        So – at a guess – I think they are hoping to do some sort of a deal with Brussels/London which excludes all parties in the north (on the convenient basis that the NI Assembly is suspended). Essentially some sort of transitional arrangement applying only to NI. I doubt however this is feasible in the time available – not least because of the DUP’s hold over the Tories.

        Its also however entirely possible – and this would be consistent with Varadkars character (not Coveney, even his political opponents respect his integrity) to be using this as a sort of virtue signalling device, whereby a hard border can then be entirely blamed on London, and he can use it to get cash from the EU.

        Or there may be another agenda and game going on, I really don’t know.

        Reply
        1. el_tel

          Thanks very much for the honesty. Again, I’m reassured that I’m not being totally dumb on a big BREXIT issue and that my confusion is rooted in a real issue and not something “merely” cooked up by the media!

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            If I’ve learned one thing on NC, it’s to always confess to ignorance, if I don’t someone else is bound to point it out!

            Thinking through the Irish govt strategy it did occur to me that if they want to get a special deal for NI it would be better if the suggestion originated from London. So it may be that they are hoping to provoke a response on those lines from May or Boris and then run with it to Brussels while it’s on the table.

            Reply
        2. makedoanmend

          “Its also however entirely possible – and this would be consistent with Varadkar’s character…to be using this as a sort of virtue signalling device, whereby a hard border can then be entirely blamed on London, and he can use it to get cash from the EU.”

          And rid himself and his fellow travellers of having to acknowledge them pesky Northern nationalists are in any way connected to the Republic of Ireland.

          Anywho, right now your paragraph rings true given that Varadkar is into PR solutions to real world problems. (The “housing crisis summit” he “chaired” was clarifying – good photo ops and sweet all done).

          The only other thing I can think of is that the Irish government with the backing of the EU negotiators wants the UK to agree to specific monies the UK will have to spend on border infrastructure instead of Ireland having to foot the entire bill.

          Reply
        3. Oregoncharles

          ” not least because of the DUP’s hold over the Tories”
          Maybe not. I gather the DUP doesn’t want a hard border, either; it only makes their problems worse. EU membership has been a way to commercially unify the island without exactly admitting it. That’s going to be hard to give up.

          I’ll repeat what I wrote before, in case I’m just wrong: it seems that if there is an open border, anti-smuggling enforcement moves to the ports, so that the island becomes a big exception. That would be logical, I think, but I thought it was already rejected – I don’t know who by.

          Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      Wouldn’t an open border be anathema to the EU, a smuggler’s freeway? What about their rules? I think I don’t understand them.

      Reply
  9. Bugs Bunny

    What a beautiful fox! So noble!

    Wait – are humans allowed to compliment foxes? I hope it’s not taken the wrong way…!

    Reply
    1. DJG

      The question is whether bunnies are allowed to compliment foxes. You’re living dangerously today.

      Yes, a remarkable fox. The fox knows many things. The hedgehog, one big thing.

      Reply
  10. mpalomar

    The Franken and Moore, #MeToo round of sex and temperament in our primitive society is likely to be another recursive and banal finger pointing session in which ‘advanced’ humans fail to engage or even recognize the basic underlying hypocrisy of attitudes surrounding human sexuality.
    Repression, the usual outcome when taboo and power inevitably mix, has a way of bubbling its outcomes disconcertingly toward the surface.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps we ask where it does not happen.

      Religious organizations…Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Catholic…

      Government (civilian) at all levels and all branches.

      Military.

      Academia.

      Corporate boardrooms

      Legal Reinforcement

      Hollywood.

      Sports.

      Media, mainstream or otherwise.

      Spy agencies

      NGOs

      United Nations

      Non-profit organizations.

      The Boy Scouts

      Etc.

      Reply
      1. RUKidding

        Restaurants

        Country Clubs

        Retail shopping establishments of all sizes

        Non & Not for Profit Organizations

        Law firms of all sizes

        Libraries

        K – 12 Schools

        Academia

        IOW: everywhere. All the time.

        Including, yes, Girl Scouts.

        The better question to ask is: Where does it NOT happen?

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It happens and will always happen. The issue is power structures and potential for redress. Employees with unions and guaranteed healthcare have built in protections.

          Its like a woman tied to an abusive male person. Without the means to find safe housing, gainful employment, etc, the ability of a potential victim to extricate themselves from this relationship is hampered.

          The only real solutions are direct hiring, guaranteed income, public housing, single payer, and free legal counsel.

          With less power, abusers will be less likely to act. Two, victims will also have means of redress without risking their little livelihoods.

          Reply
          1. jgordon

            All of the benefits you just mentioned are available to women in inner city no-go zones in abundance. Free women from the responsibility of finding and keeping a good man, and suddenly you’ve plunged society into a primitive pit of government supported single mothers chasing agressive, low-IQ alpha male criminals to father ever an growing legion of maladjusted and unstable children… which the government will in turn support.

            Your idea is dysgenics in practice, a great experiment to determine just how quicky and precipitously we can destroy the human gene pool with social engineering–or rather, the past 50 years of the Great Society in action as inflicted on certain minority groups.

            Reply
          1. perpetualWAR

            Disgusting. And quite surprised the appellate court upheld the judgments, as courts have a way of upholding the powerful and screwing the weak.

            Reply
            1. Lee

              The double negative and citation loaded verbiage is confusing. At the bottom. The judgement against union local 28 was a good thing. The head of the union Ray Lane was a member of and installed by an organized crime group that had taken over the union at the highest level. Getting the MFs out was a multi-level, interstate grassroots effort largely lead by folks in San Francisco local 2 across the bay from us. I was a rep for local 28 before I got wise to what was happening. I was a mole for Ms Seritis and others. Lane finally got a lengthy federal sentence racketeering, embezzlement and other charges.

              We discern no error in the superior court’s conclusion that Local 28 “is solvent and has sound financial prospects for the future,” or in the amount of punitive damages assessed against it.

              Nor do we find merit in Local 28’s claim that the superior court failed “to resolve” punitive damage issues, or to “consider” its net worth and current income.

              The judgment against defendant Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Union, Local 28, is affirmed.

              I.E. the women won.

              If there was a later judgment against them, I am unaware of it. By this time, I had gone to work for another union.

              Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And then we ask in what country this does not happen.

          China?

          India?

          France?

          Tibet?

          Sweden?

          Russia?

          Australia?

          Zimbabwe?

          Turkey?

          Reply
          1. RUKidding

            I can state unhesitatingly that this kind of sexual harassment or worse happens in Australia and India. I’ve lived in both countries. Wish I could say it was better there, but it’s not.

            Reply
        3. Lee

          According to Coppinger et al, male canines have a built-in inhibitions against causing harm to females. For example, he has seen females lay a male dog’s flesh open to the bone with the male not attacking in response. Occasionally, this inhibition is missing in some dogs and the authors contend that responsible dog breeders and owners should put down such animals. They have a genetic loose screw and shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. Alas, we are descended from apes and not wolves.

          IIRC, this is from the book Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            My family’s big siberian let the small female husky run amok compared to the other male dogs, but twice, she was too close to the cats and needed to understand cats aren’t food.

            Those incidents were years apart. He moved and flung her aside in a flash.

            Reply
            1. Lee

              Didn’t do her serious damage, I’m assuming. I’ve got a pack of 3. Mutual disciplining does occur among them but no real harm is done. For example, the two females make it clear to the male they have no desire to be mounted. He gets it after a nip or two and respects their decision. They are pretty intensely competitive for affection, so I try to dole it out evenly, which is sometimes difficult with three dogs and only two hands. Oh, the crosses of our limitations that we must bear.

              Reply
  11. DJG

    National Affairs: When character no longer counts.

    I classify this article under the Continuing Crisis of Monotheism. Part of the logic of a jealous god, one church, and a religion of revelation is that the public space is always subordinate to the requirements of the religion. So the political goals of the divines will set aside the teachings of the scriptures (which are contradictory, anyway). Apocalyptic thinking is much admired in the U S of A, too, so Trump can be an eight-winged angel.

    The operative paragraph: These leaders have replaced a rhetoric of persuasion with a rhetoric of pure authority — very like the authority that Trump claims for himself. (“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”) Consequently, their whole house of cards may well collapse if the Trump presidency is anything other than a glorious success, and will leave those who have accepted that rhetoric bereft of explanations as well as arguments.

    Which:
    I am reminded of Franco’s use of the Catholic church in Spain. Attendance at mass on Sunday was mandatory. In Catalonia, where the Catalan language was banned, sermons in Catalan were forbidden. It was all the will of god and the imperatives of the state.

    Character? In a country that has already had Elmer Gantry? I’m skeptical.

    Reply
    1. flora

      That was an interesting article. It reminded me that there are many polities in the US, not just the simply binary choices.

      There’s historical evidence that in each of these polities some one or other group has at one time or another tried to capture the govt for it’s own ends, to the near exclusion of govt attention to and consideration of the other polities in the country. The art of govt is the balancing of competing interests/polities for the good of the whole country. Successful capture of the govt by one polity to the near exclusion of other polities is bad for the country as a whole. It’s unbalanced. It creates distortions.

      I think the govt now is wholly captured by the FIRE sector polity – particularly by Wall Street and billionaires. The govt is unbalanced. We need to bring it back into balance, though this won’t be quick or easy.

      Yesterday’s link to Bill Mitchell’s blog* was a good examination of how the US govt and the EU got captured by the FIRE sector’s neoliberal agenda. Knowing how you got where you are is a good first step in mapping a way forward, imo.

      * http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=37159

      Reply
    2. flora

      Longer comment in moderation. (I think Skynet is flagging my comments as “too boring”. ;) )
      shorter:
      There are many polities in the US. From the mid-70’s thru the election of W. Bush in 2000 the religious right polity had an enormous political clout. That now seems to be waning, having been replaced by the political clout of the FIRE sector, another polity, and economic despair of so many other non-FIRE sector polities. Now there’s a rethink happening.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        There is something to be said for brevity (which I’m not good at); the second version is easier to understand, though much less detailed.

        And on the same note: I had trouble with the Mitchell blog article; I got bored before he actually said anything. Would probably have to have read the prior article it was based on. I may try it again, see if I can skip into the meat.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          OK, I finally waded through mud at the beginning and found his critique of the Eurozone, which is familiar. Interestingly, he seems to think it applies to the EU, as well – which is accused of being very un-democratic.

          Now it’s clear why he supported Greece leaving the Eurozone and, apparently, Britain leaving the EU. He thinks the whole xperiment has gone wrong. Granted, he thinks that from Australia, but he claims to have studied the process in Europe. I have my own critique of the EU (it’s too beg to administer), and his critique of the Euro is standard. His use of “the Left” is weird, and so is his use of “sovereignty” – he means currency sovereignty, which is a special definition, so he needs to say so each time. Not doing so will cause confusion.

          Overall, he leaves me with the conclusion that Europe has stepped in a beartrap and really has no clue how to get out. I assume any positive proposals are saved for the book, aside from junking the Euro: as documented here, a five-year project that so far lacks popular support.

          Reply
          1. flora

            Thanks,
            I’ll keep this brief. ;)
            The National Affairs article seems to examine what the religious right has given up – if antthing – that is essential to their character of faith in the current pursuit of political clout. Are faiths giving up the very things they seek to hold and reinforce?

            Also, I think the Bilbo article points out some of what the left in its current pursuit of political relevance has given up; an economic analysis that is essential to the economic meaning of “the left.”

            example: “To put a finer point on it, Andrew Watt, for all his progressive pretentions, uses the mainstream neo-liberal macroeoconomics frame as a centrepiece of his attack on why Thomas and I are lost in some fantasy world.” (my emphasis)

            So, imo, a left that accepts the neo-liberal TINA economic model as a centerpiece, far from challenging that economic model, reinforces the TINA “inevitability” of neo-liberalism. That is to say, it reinforces the very thing it seeks to oppose.

            Of course, where money and power are concerned, there’s no telling what will happen.

            Guess this comment wasn’t so brief after all. :)

            Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              You really can’t do justice to most topics with an aphorism. It was brief enough.

              I think when you rewrote the first comment you improved it by driving directly to the point. Hence, easier to grasp.

              This one is brief enough!

              Reply
  12. Jim Haygood

    Tesla Semi unveiled last night:

    Elon Musk showed off Tesla’s highly anticipated Semi — a semi-autonomous electric big rig — Thursday night. The trucks, on tap for production in 2019, will carry a maximum of 80,000 lbs, the maximum load for U.S. highways, and have a range of 500 miles per charge.

    The range is significant; Musk said 80% of truck deliveries are 250 miles or less.

    Musk gushed over the speed of the big rig, which he said could go from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds, three times faster than an average truck, and could maintain 60 mph up a 5% grade, 20 mph faster than today’s diesel trucks.

    The bullet-shaped trucks are exceptionally aerodynamic, Musk said, with a better drag coefficient than a Bugatti Veyron. Musk said the trucks will largely eliminate time-wasting fuel stops by being able to recharge as they’re being unloaded.

    Musk also guaranteed the trucks would not break down for 1 million miles, largely thanks to the fact that they do not have gears to shift and have no brake pads.

    http://tinyurl.com/yaqs8c4f

    Check out the space-age rendering. You know which rig the truck-stop angels are gonna knock on first.

    Reply
        1. Jim Haygood

          Axing brake pads to rely on regenerative braking alone saves weight and complexity (no master cylinder, rotors, calipers, hydraulic lines, etc).

          But it means there’s no mechanical back-up in case the electronic control system fails (or is hacked). And what about a parking brake?

          Reminds one of ol’ Fyodor Dostoevski, who flunked out of military engineering after designing a fort without a door. Probably he thought the troops would gallantly scale the walls with ladders to hump in victuals and munitions.

          Reply
      1. allan

        Tesla’s unfettered ambition to drain finances: analysts [Reuters]

        Tesla Inc will face further questions about how fast it is burning through its cash pile and how soon it will have to ask creditors and shareholders for more after it unveiled its latest electric vehicles.

        Tesla spent $1.1 billion on its auto business in the third quarter, and expects expenses of $1 billion in the current one. It had about $3.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of Sept. 30.

        At the current cash-burn rate, it would likely be down to about $1 billion in cash by the end of the first quarter.

        “In essence, all last night’s event did was add to Elon Musk’s shopping list of things he needs to spend money on at a time when the company is having difficulty making its base vehicle (Model 3),” Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne. …

        Old economy joke: lose money per item sold, but make it up on volume.

        New economy joke: lose money per product line, but make it up with more product lines.

        Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    Re IDF Chief of Staff: Israel willing to share intelligence with Saudis – Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Israel will want to be careful. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said back in 2010 that the Saudis “want to fight the Iranians to the last American” but back then the Americans said “Oh, hell no!”
    Looks like the Saudis now want to bankroll the Israelis to attack Iran’s ally Hezbollah in Lebanon. Does that mean that the Saudis now want to fight Iran to the last Israeli? So, progress?

    Reply
  14. epynonymous

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/15/senate-tax-bill-boosts-taxes-on-stock-sales.html

    Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) talks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon in the U.S. Capitol November 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.
    Senate tax provision targets certain kinds of stock sales
    2:19 PM ET Wed, 15 Nov 2017 | 02:15

    “Heads up, investors: A provision in the Senate’s tax plan would take away your ability to pick and choose which stock shares you unload when you go to sell.

    If the move is included in final legislation, investors would pay an estimated $2.7 billion more in taxes over a decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.”

    I saw a good piece on this on NBR two nights ago, which detailed how ETF’s use ‘trade in kind’ to only sell stocks for a marginal showing of profit for taxes, while reaping the whole difference of their spread in owned stocks in real profit.

    I believe the move (if *ever* passed) would mandate FIFO accounting for stocks instead of LIFO.

    Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The original shame is the presence of a military base at that very location, so that it is the military making all the decisions there.

        Reply
    1. fresno dan

      marym
      November 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Speaking of art, I bring this up….so to speak
      http://www.king5.com/news/graphic-obscene-skydrawings-spotted-in-okanogan-co/492519236

      OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. – Officials with the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island said one of their aircraft was involved in the obscene skywritings spotted in Okanogan County.

      Photos sent to KREM 2 by multiple sources show skydrawings of what some people are saying is male genitalia. Some sources have even tweeted pictures of what they saw.
      ====================================================
      and yeah, I googled “Images” and it is a pretty good rendition, when you consider your drawing it with a plane. Not only artistic talent, but undoubtedly some pretty good flying. Now, will “Big Hands” Trump send these guys to fly over North Korea???

      Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are they in China’s ‘sphere of monetary influence?’

      “Hey China, we run trade deficits to facilitate world trade, not for you to accumulate the reserve currency to run your own hegemony.”

      “But who is going to stop us? Your can’t-afford-quality, going-for-the-cheapest-to-feed-family consumers?”

      Reply
  15. timbers

    I wanted to share this interesting post in the comments section I read over at Wolf Street:

    As you know, the very existence of a middle class is an accident of history, brought on when TPTB lost quite a bit of control to the socialists in the years after 1929. All previous human history had been characterized by a relatively small and wealthy class dominating a mostly poor and disempowered general population. Efforts are presently underway to restore the historical order.

    See the discourse about the establishment of the middle class in the USA after WWII as a historical accident. The ruling class had to give power to the workers in the 1940s in order to transform society into a highly efficicent war material production machine. Those rights persisted after the war and continued into the 1950s and 60s in the form of high pay and benefits – strength of the labor unions, etc. Now, automation and the relocation of the means of production overseas has destroyed the pay base of most workers and reduced them to living above subsistence levels but no longer as a member of the former middle class – which required an income in 2016 of $130,000 per year for a family 4 (not including the additional costs of retirement income, healthcare, etc.

    http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/the-meaning-of-middle-class.html#.VysB4oQrK_4

    Reply
    1. Ned

      Not mentioned, the arrival stateside of tens of millions of formerly poor farmboys and city dwellers, screwed over by the Depression, then disciplined and trained how to use weapons after their alleged “fight for freedom.”

      That’s why the Middle Class came about. A safety valve for the oligarchs. And, a guarantor for another competing economic system, the M.I.C. fighting the next enemy and competing economic system, The Soviet Union.

      Now that the veterans are all dead, with few exceptions, it’s time to disremember their sacrifice fighting against that nasty Nazi economic system that had to be quashed at all costs, as well as the Asian Co-prosperity Sphere that threatened “our” interests.

      What I’ve learned after years of reading this site is that war is politics by another means and that all politics are not local, they are economic.

      I wonder if any real reform we have in this country will originate in the hundreds of thousands of returning Syraquistan veterans who are fed up with the hypocrisy?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I dunno about the returning ME vets. The WW2 cohort was composed of a rough cross section of the entire population. The draft guaranteed that. When Vietnam came about, the draft army ‘misbehaved’ in all sorts of ways, not the least being “fragging.” We can’t maintain proper ‘order’ when officers are being killed by their own men, so, let us select for a more compliant soldiery. Enter the “all volunteer” army. The volunteer part will be weighted towards poorer and more vulnerable people, so, control will be easier to maintain. Now we have what the Founding Fathers feared, a ‘professional’ army with its’ loyalty subtly leaning towards the ‘service’ rather than the country.
        This is where coups come from.

        Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Humans are special because only few animals have opposable thumbs.

      But as exceptional as we are, we are not front-back symmetrical, except maybe the Roman god Janus.

      Robots, on the other hand, have that possibility…to have navels on both sides, as well as eyes, nose, ears, and the possibility to touch toes bending forward as well as backward.

      Reply
      1. Tom

        True — the possibilities would seem to be endless. But it’s interesting that robot developers are aping (!) the structure of the human body, at least in this case, and that the joints and pivot angles seem to be generally patterned after those of humans. The ways the limbs move to counterbalance each other is also eerily human-like. For example, you can see that the somersaulting robot uses its arms as outriggers to make micro adjustments to maintain balance after the landing. Incredible.

        Reply
  16. Hepativore

    The link posted for the Bloomberg article on the December FCC internet neutrality vote actually links to the same article as the one below it on media ownership from Variety.

    Reply
      1. Hepativore

        I know. Now he is in the process of destroying all of the freedoms that the internet has brought us in the US when our politicians have failed us. Lest you think I am exaggerating, telecommunications companies have already started doing similar things in countries like Portugal:

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20171030/12364538513/portugal-shows-internet-why-net-neutrality-is-important.shtml

        The sad thing is that the FCC got over 30 million comments from verifiable people during their public feedback period which is required by law and 98% percent of them are dead set against removing the common carrier designation for the internet. However, Ajit Pai said that he already made up his mind on the issue months ago, and that he has no intention of listening to anyone who says otherwise unless you are one of his telecomm handlers. What did we expect from somebody who used to be a lawyer on Verizon’s legal team?

        Finally, can somebody explain why telecomm companies are exempt from anti-trust laws? Most people like myself have a choice between one or two if we are lucky, especially as a deplorable like myself who lives in rural flyover country.

        Reply
  17. Jim Haygood

    An old Argentina hand reflects on Venezuela:

    Jay Newman, the former hedge fund manager who helped billionaire Paul Singer win a 15-year fight against Argentina, has a word of caution for investors looking to replicate his success in Venezuela.

    The $30 billion of debt issued by PDVSA, in fact, may be worthless in a default, he says.

    “PDVSA doesn’t own the oil. It’s some amalgamation of production assets, trucks, offices and rusted pipe,” Newman said from New York. “The oil belongs to the state. If PDVSA is reorganized under local law, external bonds could be a zero.”

    The doomsday scenario Newman envisions involves Venezuela effectively writing off PDVSA’s debt by transferring the company’s oil-drilling concessions, operating team and infrastructure to a new entity, leaving the old PDVSA without any of its assets but all of its existing liabilities.

    It could happen under Venezuelan law, and there’s little investors can do about it, even if their bonds were issued under New York law. While that allows creditors to take PDVSA to court in the U.S., and to try to enforce judgments against them, “if PDVSA, as an insolvent company, is being administered under a Venezuelan statutory regime, all bets are off,” said Newman, who’s also a former attorney.

    http://tinyurl.com/y9nuc9b9

    Damn … there goes my dazzling dream of buying Citgo’s Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery for a dollah and a promissory note. :-(

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      You could probably get all of Lake Charles for the promissory note. Just don’t denominate it in Bolivars.
      I can imagine the ‘new’ money to be installed when the Hedge Funds (LLC) take over ‘Down South.’
      Ready for “El Buitre?” (The Vulture.)

      Reply
  18. Ned

    Summing up the links:

    Solution to our nations housing projects–replace our current tenants with Canadians, Belgians, Chileans and Dutch descended people, if you can find poor ones.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Who is Alejandro Araveno, and why does the government require him to settle 100 families?

      Did he hurt them in the past? Is this for him to compensate the families for wronging them in the past? The government is generous enough to give $7,500 per family, which is not enough (thus a problem), and the solution is to design as if they have $75,000 for each family? “As if” sounds like pretending you have the money when in fact, you don’t. How is that a solution? Because you only build half of it? How do you get from $7,500 being 1/10 of $75,000, to building 1/2 of it? I’m sure they could, but how? The article never mentions it.

      Reply
  19. Pelham

    How much longer do we suppose this fuss over sexual harassment go on before someone (other than Barbara Ehrenreich) speaks up about the routine abuses that waitresses, cleaning women, nurses and others like them endure?

    Reply
    1. Bill

      When Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and their kind start getting upset, maybe. They don’t care when their hubbies prey on low-credibility women–they probably prefer it.

      Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          I’m sure she reamed Bill pretty thoroughly for his stupidity and recklessness. didn’t stop him, though, judging by the rumors.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Being ‘reamed’ by HRH HRC would require the ‘assistance’ of a double ender. Now that’s bi-partizanship we can all get behind!
            “Tell me Bill! Who’s your donor! Say it!”
            It’s all about power.

            Reply
  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory

    I don’t do social media so it’s difficult to understand the argument that so many people rely on Fleecebook to get their news – to me a website dedicated to posting memes and pictures of what one had for lunch would seem to be the last place to go for news. Is it really that hard to just type in the news website of one’s choice or bookmark a link and click on it? Evidently it is:

    Attracting viewers to a story relies, above all, on making the process as simple as possible. Even one extra click can make a world of difference. This is an existential threat, not only to my organization and others like it but also to the ability of citizens in all of the countries subject to Facebook’s experimentation to discover the truth about their societies and their leaders.

    We have vast amounts of knowledge on every subject literally at our fingertips today. We have reduced the time it takes to find the information we want from hours or days or more down to seconds which is a tremendous breakthrough, and now that we’ve done so, it’s all going to go to waste because the majority of people simply can’t be bothered to make take one extra second to make one extra click?

    So I was pleasantly surprised to see the author make this admission:

    We journalists bear some responsibility for this, too. Using Facebook to reach our readers has always been convenient, so we invested time and effort in building our presence there, helping it become the monster it is today.

    Once again it would seem the fault isn’t in our stars, but in ourselves. We’re like ferrets chasing after the next and newest shiny bauble. I really don’t like Zuckerberg but it’s hard to place the blame on him alone for how crapified the internet has become when literally billions jump at the chance to be surveilled while they have their treacle spoonfed to them.

    Disclaimer: this is not meant to knock those who sometimes use Fleecebook, but those who primarily use Fleecebook and think they’re on the internet.

    Reply
    1. Partless Poster

      What I find disturbing is the amount of people who are committed leftists and would boycott most any product if they knew it caused some definite harm, never even consider not using facebook.
      I’ve even seen articles about how awful FB is on progressive sites and then underneath the story will be “like us on facebook”
      No one HAS to use facebook, you cant fight a big company while still using their products!
      I feel there has been an amazing decline in imagination in this country, people don’t even remember how we communicated 15 years ago.

      Reply
      1. perpetualWAR

        We used to communicate by talking to one another, either via phone or letter.

        The internet and texting has really reduced us to isolation and atrociously bad manners.

        My father’s wife provided the information to me and my siblings that my father had died over a text.

        Reply
    2. Enrique Bermudez

      My absolute favourite justification for using Fakebook: “oh it makes it so easy to keep in contact with [person/family member] X”

      Really? So like text and e-mail but with that added element of being spied on to 10 levels further?

      Never had it, never will. I expect it will be around in 10 years but largely used by people like my middle-aged (and upward) relatives. Who inhabit the demographic least-desired by advertisers.

      And Zuckermander supposedly wants to run for president? Uh, in a worldwide monoculture where everyone picks political sides even in countries in which they do not live he’s going to in effect nail his company to the masthead of (presumably) establishment neoliberal Democrats? I surely am not feeling that as a great strategy on any level. I bet his little listening (to actual non-amphibians) tour is sort of a shot across the bow of DC. Go after us via the regulatory route and I’m going to try to “Trump” your wicked little system myself.

      Reply
    3. curlydan

      We are fairly spoiled by Naked Capitalism and maybe some of the other frequented sites in that we can type in their names into our browser and get good to great content. But I’d ask you to consider how many of the sites you frequent have been started lately. That’s where creators/publishers must hunt for clicks, and Google and Facebook are the click generators for most sites. Starting and maintaining a website in 2017 or even the past 4-5 years can be brutal, and that’s what’s leading many to call for anti-trust actions against them.

      Reply
  21. Bill

    Nancy Pelosi has had a lot of practice ignoring her wealthy husband’s rampant sexual escapades. It’s just a way of life for Hillary, Nancy and a whole lot of other women. And Huffpost is eager to help
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rhonda-milrad/7-tips-for-women-who-stay_b_9630876.html

    https://nypost.com/2016/04/14/why-more-women-are-letting-their-husbands-cheat/

    “The more invested you are in your marriage — whether because of love, lifestyle, finances, children or a combination of those things — the more likely you are to make compromises [such as allowing the husband to cheat] to anchor the commitment.”

    Reply
    1. Enquiring Mind

      Pelosi seemed a little jealous of Feinstein and all that loot that Blum hovered up through pillow talk. E.g., that egregious USPS deal.

      Reply
    2. JBird

      “The more invested you are in your marriage — whether because of love, lifestyle, finances, children or a combination of those things — the more likely you are to make compromises [such as allowing the husband to cheat] to anchor the commitment.”

      WTF? I have no problem accepting the mistakes, and weaknesses, of loved ones, as we’re all human, but that does not mean being an enabler. Would one just accept an addict’s destructive BS? If someone insist on being a sleaze weasel with no serious efforts at self reform, out with them!

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        You’re secretly Hillary, Nancy, or the average trophy wife?

        Your attitude is doubtless typical, as well as justified, but their situations are not.

        Reply
        1. JBird

          Yes, they have money, education, and connections so they are not trapped like some are. It is their life, but I would not want to live with a serial predator as some of those spouses are, and what does does that do their children? Tell them that respect for others is for chumps?

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Using De Sade as a guide, I’d say that it all eventually will end up in pitchforks and guillotines on the Town Square.

            Reply
  22. Alfred

    Among today’s crop of sexual harassment stories on CNN, just an hour or so ago appeared one with an explicit connection to business. Headlined, “Victoria’s Secret Struggling Because Women Want to Be More Comfortable” (the irony is crushing), this one retails a downturn in demand for sexy lingerie. So on the one hand we deplore the sexualization of women, while on the other we generate profits and dividends from sexualizing them — and now bemoan the economic consequences of their resistance. “Victoria’s Secret sales have slipped 11% from last year, parent company L Brands reported on Thursday,” according to the article, “What a world! What a country! It’s almost as bad as blindness to the use of a firearm in a “guns situation.”

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Fur coats are still not allowed, I think.

      Not so sure about alligator shoes.

      But I believe it’s OK to buy and wear human hair…many humans sell theirs supposedly of their free volition (though I can’t image why, except maybe to put food on the table, or to pay for doctor’s urine tests).

      Reply
      1. JBird

        If the Vampire Peter Theil can use children’s blood, why can’t some use human hair for their wigs? It’s a big business especially in poorer countries and even in the States.

        Reply
  23. D

    DC is loaded with Bipartisan Male and Female Predators – sexual, psychological and economic – male and female, particularly the Executive Office and Senators. They clearly view themselves as Lords and Lordessas.

    Reply
  24. Oregoncharles

    The Implicit Threat in Julian Assange’s Ambassador Tweet emptywheel –

    Not just a threat, really, since emptywheel says he’s carrying it out. Too bad he doesn’t seem to have anything on the Brits’ GCHQ; but in any case, it’s really the US through their poodle keeping him locked up, illegitimately according to the UN, so retaliation is justified.

    And frankly, I don’t think the NSA or CIA are operating in the citizens’ interest, so more power to him.

    Reply
    1. Darthbobber

      Marcy Wheeler has reached a point on this where she will find a buttonhole and “infer” a vest. Also, as a couple of people keep pointing out in her comments thread, the bulk of what she insists on calling the “Assange tweeets” happened during the period when the Ecuadorian government had cut off his internet access.

      Reply
  25. D

    Years ago, the Democrats attempted to weaponize Anita Hill, …

    Actually, Biden (who has his very own ugly reputation) – as the Male Democrat, Judiciary Comittee Chair – Threw Anita Hill under the Bus (some emphasis mine):

    04/06/16 Anita Hill on Confirmation, What Joe Biden Did Wrong and the Clintons

    Twenty-five years after appearing at Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings and telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that Thomas, her former boss, had sexually harassed her, Anita Hill will be thrust back into the spotlight with the HBO movie Confirmation. The film chronicles those hearings, and the media frenzy that surrounded them, with Scandal’s Kerry Washington starring as Hill.

    Today a professor at Brandeis University, Hill says she has mixed feelings about the episode. She believes that the committee, led by Joe Biden, then the committee chair, didn’t offer her a fair hearing.

    What is the legacy of the hearings?
    A conversation which had been private can become public, and you see the legacy of that now with college women protesting sexual harassment and assault.

    But the hearing also influenced how employers would react to sexual harassment, how universities would react to it, and we’re still trying to dig out from that. The Senate, instead of reflecting the best practices that had been developed at that point, lapsed into combativeness. The hearings showed people what happens when representatives don’t make a real attempt to get to the bottom of issues and to understand how sexual harassment works.
    ….

    Did you expect more help from Democrats, like committee chairman Joe Biden?
    I expected a fair process. If you file a sexual-harassment complaint in an office, what you find in the best instances is a neutral investigative process. That never happened. I did expect that the chair would be fair and gather the testimony from the relevant witnesses, like the three women who were not called in to testify, like the experts on sexual harassment that could have helped inform the committee about how the problem manifests itself.

    Have you spoken to Vice President Biden since the hearings?
    No.

    How would the hearings be different if they happened today?
    I’m not sure they would happen.
    ….

    You teach courses on gender equality at Brandeis. What impact do you think Hillary Clinton winning the election would have?
    I think we need a female President. It’s very symbolic. People sort of say, “Oh well, that’s not anything.” But I think it’s a lot. We know from research that girls — and boys — respond to role models, and to have women as models of leadership I think is significant to [children’s] development.

    But we also have to have someone who really understands the experiences of women, at work and in the home, in terms of policies need to be developed to address questions of equality — why we need equal pay or access to childcare or family leave
    ….

    That women-against-women narrative is so pervasive. And yet it was a group of Congresswomen who demanded that Biden and the committee hear your testimony.
    I will say: if those women from Congress had not marched over to the Senate and demanded a hearing, I do not think it would have happened. That, to me, is leadership. And that’s why we need more women in leadership positions. We haven’t even come close in terms of representation to a critical mass.

    And what to say about Biden’s Chief Counsel for that hearing – Harriet Grant – who married Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Scooter Libby!

    Reply
  26. ewmayer

    “Billion-Dollar Landlords: Rental home giant once led by Trump ally is under fire from some tenants, critics | ABC” — The MSM seem to be trying very, very hard, to work EvilTrump’s name into as many negative headlines as they can, viz. the number of indirections in the above:

    – ‘once led’, but not currently;
    – ‘Trump ally’, not business associate, family member, or in any position in the administration;
    – ‘some tenants’, roughly what % might that be and how does it compare to other such ginormous investor-landlord outfits?;
    – ‘critics’, as in ‘dime a dozen’?

    If one compares the link-this-to-Trump-by-however-many-degrees-of-separation-it-takes mania with the studious avoidance of another high-profile political name (*cough* Clinto *cough*) in stories pertaining to the UraniumOne bribery scandal such as this one from Reuters in Wednesday’s NC Links, one might almost be led to believe there is some form of journalistic-institutional bias operative here. But nah, that’s foily!

    Reply
  27. Oregoncharles

    “Germany’s coalition talks: What are the sticking points? Deutsche Welle”
    I’m really hoping the Greens sabotage this coalition. The history is that coalitions are very destructive to the party. And it wouldn’t look good – a disadvantage of being an international party.

    Reply
  28. D

    …. Photos sent to KREM 2 by multiple sources show skydrawings of what some people are saying is male genitalia. Some sources have even tweeted pictures of what they saw.
    ====================================================
    and yeah, I googled “Images” and it is a pretty good rendition, when you consider your drawing it with a plane. Not only artistic talent, but undoubtedly some pretty good flying. Now, will “Big Hands” Trump send these guys to fly over North Korea???

    naw, way out of scale; it’s actually a rendition of the Washington Monument to them, and Very Patriotic!

    Reply
  29. Edward E

    Thanks Lambert for the very interesting Twitter thread with the various foxes.
    The fox has a lot of personality, you can tell, I love the ones that stay at my place. They dig it… Except maybe for the big hole they dug underneath the propane tank, at least it’s not sinking any yet. I made them a place with some old pickup truck beds, they use it but they have numerous other dens around. Dunford is a good name for a fox.

    Dunford: U.S. Military Advantage Over Russia, China Eroding

    https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1374168/dunford-us-military-advantage-over-russia-china-eroding/

    The U.S. military advantage against near-peer competitors is eroding, and America must invest in capabilities to ensure deterrence, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts earlier this week.

    Reply

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